Education Funding

Chicago Schools Cut 200 Central Office Jobs to Save $16M

By Noreen S. Ahmed-Ullah & Joel Hood, Chicago Tribune (MCT) — September 23, 2011 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Chicago Public Schools officials announced Thursday that they have trimmed the Chief Education Office and network offices by 200 positions for a savings of $16 million, part of a districtwide reorganization plan under CPS’ new leadership team.

The jobs represent a 25 percent reduction in staff for those departments. But the district still needs to realize another $44 million in savings through layoffs, closing vacant jobs, program reductions, streamlining curriculum and eliminating other duplications. Officials declined to say how many more layoffs are anticipated.

Earlier this year, the district issued 1,000 pink slips to teachers, cut annual teacher raises, made program reductions and increased property taxes to address a gaping budget hole. Some of the teaching positions may have been recouped with educators finding other jobs within the system.

Schools chief Jean-Claude Brizard has complained about walking into a “fragmented” system and finding central office jobs that overlapped and staffers left without supervision after years of budget cuts. CPS brought in a private consulting group that analyzed its system at no charge.

“Some of it is streamlining, some of it is eliminating some of our functions that while on some level may have been necessary, aren’t going to drive us toward the academic achievement,” said Chief Education Officer Noemi Donoso.

Some of the cut positions came from a shift away from the 24 Central Area Offices implemented under former CPS chief Ron Huberman. District officials have consolidated those duties to 18 area networks.

Barbara Radner, DePaul University’s director of the Center for Urban Education, says streamlining functions like data analysis and curriculum development and spearheading the efforts from downtown will be helpful. Under Huberman many regional offices developed their own instruction materials and assessment strategies, creating a mishmash of directives that were not always effective, she said.

“It looks like the district office is taking leadership across the city on curriculum priorities rather than saying everyone can figure it out yourself,” Radner said. “That’s a big change from the do-it-yourself approach last year. But the execution itself is always the question.”

Related Tags:

Copyright (c) 2011, The Chicago Tribune. Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.


English-Language Learners Webinar Helping English-Learners Through Improved Parent Outreach: Strategies That Work
Communicating with families is key to helping students thrive – and that’s become even more apparent during a pandemic that’s upended student well-being and forced constant logistical changes in schools. Educators should pay particular attention
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Mathematics Webinar
Addressing Unfinished Learning in Math: Providing Tutoring at Scale
Most states as well as the federal government have landed on tutoring as a key strategy to address unfinished learning from the pandemic. Take math, for example. Studies have found that students lost more ground
Content provided by Yup Math Tutoring
Classroom Technology Webinar Building Better Blended Learning in K-12 Schools
The pandemic and the increasing use of technology in K-12 education it prompted has added renewed energy to the blended learning movement as most students are now learning in school buildings (and will likely continue

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education Funding Here's How Schools Can Use Federal COVID Aid to Solve Bus Driver and Other Transportation Woes
The Education Department outlines districts' options for using relief money to solve nationwide problems in getting kids to and from school.
2 min read
Students catch their bus near Ambridge Area Senior High School on the first day of Pennsylvania's mask mandate for K-12 schools and day care centers on Tuesday, Sept. 7, 2021, in Ambridge, Pa.
Students catch their bus near Ambridge Area Senior High School in Ambridge, Pa., earlier this year on the first day of Pennsylvania's mask mandate for K-12 schools.
Andrew Rush/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette via AP
Education Funding High Schoolers to Decide How to Spend $1.5 Million in COVID Funding
State officials called Connecticut's new Voice4Change campaign “a first-in-the-nation statewide student civic engagement initiative.”
1 min read
Image is an illustration of a school receiving financial aid.
Collage by Laura Baker/Education Week (Images: E+, Nuthawut Somsuk/iStock/Getty)
Education Funding North Carolina Must Spend $1.75B to Narrow Education Gap, Judge Orders
The judge's order has angered GOP lawmakers and will likely set up a constitutional showdown between the three state government branches.
4 min read
Image of money.
Education Funding Opinion Ed. Finance Guru Marguerite Roza on How Schools Can Best Spend COVID Aid
Marguerite Roza shares ways school leaders can most effectively use federal COVID aid to position students and schools for future success.
7 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty